Strategies and techniques for percutaneous Veno-Arterial ECMO cannulation and decannulation in children

Cihangir Buyukgoz, Hitesh Sandhu, Samir Shah, Katy Rower, Karthik Ramakrishnan, B. Rush Waller, Ashley Kiene, Christopher Knott-Craig, Umar Boston, Shyam Sathanandam

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Objectives: To describe the techniques used for percutaneous veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) cannulation and decannulation in children with the pediatric interventional cardiologist (PIC) as the primary operator, and present outcomes of this initial clinical experience. Background: Percutaneous VA-ECMO during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has been successfully performed in adults, but currently, not much data exists on children. Methods: This is a single-center study including VA-ECMO cannulations performed by the PIC between 2019 and 2021. Efficacy was defined as the successful initiation of VA-ECMO without surgical cutdown. Safety was defined as the absence of additional procedures related to cannulation. Results: Twenty-three percutaneous VA-ECMO cannulations were performed by PIC on 20 children with 100% success. Fourteen (61%) were performed during ongoing CPR, and nine for cardiogenic shock. The Median age was 15 (0.15–18) years, and the median weight was 65 (3.3–180) kg. All arterial cannulations were via the femoral artery except in one, 8-week-old infant who was cannulated in the carotid artery. A distal perfusion cannula was placed in the ipsilateral limb in 17 (78%). The median time from initiating cannulation to ECMO flow was 35 (13–112) minutes. Two patients required arterial graft placement at the time of decannulation and one needed below-knee amputation. ECMO support was maintained for a median of 4 (0.3–38) days. Thirty-day survival was 74%. Conclusion: Percutaneous VA-ECMO cannulations can be effectively performed, even during CPR with the Pediatric Interventional Cardiologist being the primary operator. This is an initial clinical experience. Future outcome studies compared with standard surgical cannulations are necessary to advocate routine percutaneous VA-ECMO in children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1088-1097
Number of pages10
JournalCatheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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